By DNC Press
From: Brad Woodhouse, DNC Communications Director
To: Interested Parties
Date: December 7, 2011
Re: Mitt Romney and the plague of Multiple Political Personality Disorder (MPPD)
Mitt Romney’s two decade political career has been characterized by one reboot after another of his campaign, political strategy and even his beliefs. If you combine the number of times Mitt Romney has “revamped” his approach to his various campaigns and his positions on the issues he could easily be diagnosed with multiple political personality disorder–or MPPD.
If we were extremely generous and set aside Mitt Romney’s constant and politically calculated shape-shifting on issues, looking only at his multiple political personalities over the course of his nearly 20 year political career, we still woke this morning to at least personality number five after the latest re-launch of his campaign.
Here’s a look at the multiple political personalities of Mitt Romney:
The Unabashed Social Liberal: When he ran for the Senate in 1994, he was an unabashed social liberal–proclaiming to be more of a champion for gay rights and a woman’s right to choose than even Ted Kennedy. He also held himself out as the ultimate independent Republican–famously rejecting the Reagan-Bush era by declaring in one debate with Kennedy: “I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.”
The Competent Manager: By the time he ran for Governor in 2002, Mitt Romney was on to personality number two–the competent manager who was best suited to run the state–a moderate Republican who promoted the role of government in solving tough problems like health care and climate change–and who was still a social liberal on issues like abortion.
The Social Conservative: By 2007 when he started running for President, Mitt Romney, who once said he be a better advocate for gay rights than Ted Kennedy, ran as a social conservative–appearing before every right wing social gathering he could find to promote his brand new anti-choice, anti-gay rights social views. He even tried to out-social conservative Mike Huckabee and ran hard to win over Iowa’s social conservative voters in an unsuccessful effort to win the state’s first in the nation caucus.
The Economic “Mr. Fix-It”: After personality number three failed to win Romney the Republican nomination in 2008, he was on to political personality number four in 2011. An economic “Mr. Fix It” whose private sector experience was supposed to set him apart from the rest of the field. Gone were his desperate appeals to social conservatives to accept him as one of their own and instead Romney, for the better part of year, focused almost exclusively on the economy and shied away from personal political attacks on his primary opponents.
But while Romney campaigned as the presumed nominee–training all his fire on President Obama and ignoring his rivals–an unexpected roadblock popped up in his path in the form of…Newt Gingrich.
PalainRich (Palin-Cain-Gingrich): Time for another reboot, and political personality number five. Now Mitt Romney has morphed into some bizarre version of Sarah Palin, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich. In a speech today he stopped even pretending he cares about the middle class and instead echoed these tea party favorites in blaming the middle class for the struggles they face. Instead of believing that Americans are greater together, Mitt Romney has, overnight, adopted the far right wing view that the middle class and people trying to enter it should simply be on their own to fend for themselves.
Mitt Romney woke up this morning channeling the inner tea party voices of the likes of Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich for one reason and one reason alone: to try to gin up interest for a campaign that has rarely found the support of more than 25 percent of the primary electorate. After all, what’s a candidate to do when he’s been campaigning for president for half a decade but still has 75 to 80 percent of voters in HIS OWN party who prefer someone else – almost anyone else – to him?
The Romney campaign also signaled today that they are ready to get negative and personal – preparing to send out surrogates to attack Newt Gingrich’s private life in a desperate attempt to block his path to victory.
The problem for Mitt Romney is his latest reinvention is no more likely to be successful than the last, or the one before that, because it feeds the very problem his reinventions seem to be trying to solve: that with Mitt Romney, you never you know what you are going to get and you simply can’t trust him to lead.